A group of Auckland retirement village residents have put together a Justin Timberlake tribute video to celebrate positive ageing and help beat the COVID lockdown blues.
The video, which is a tribute to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling hit, was filmed over two weeks at Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village in Birkenhead, Murray Halberg Retirement Village in Lynfield and Logan Campbell Retirement Village in Greenlane prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.
It features the talents of 35 residents, with an average age of 80 and a combined total of more than 2800 years of experience between them.
Norris Aitken, who plays Justin, said he jumped at the chance to star in a music video even though it came from ‘out of leftfield’.
“It was completely foreign to me but I just did my best to pretend I was Justin - even if it did mean doing it a few times!
“I think it shows people there’s life after retirement and there’s plenty of fun still to be had. We might be getting long in the tooth but we’re not in a wooden overcoat yet!” he said.
A former bank manager, Norris said his favourite scene was when everyone in the village got together on the bowling green.
“That was the most fun part for me, when we were all doing our own thing out there, and also the bit where I’m spinning on the tiles in my rubber-soled shoes!”
Norris’s wife Helen, who appears in the scene filmed in the village’s movie theatre, said the production caused a real sense of excitement amongst the residents.
“It created quite an atmosphere in the village when we were making it and I think that sense of fun and lightheartedness really comes across in the video,” she said.
Their children and grandchildren had been surprised but delighted to hear about their antics since moving in the retirement village.
Norris, 79, volunteers behind the bar, he is an active member of the team who run the village workshop and he helps to organise the village bowls roster while Helen regularly takes their dog Minty to visit residents for a bit of pet therapy.
“When I mentioned to the family that I’d be starring in a music video they were pretty enthusiastic.
“My daughter said ‘I didn’t think you had it in you!’ and I said ‘Neither!” Norris laughed.
The video is a frame-by-frame version of the Justin Timberlake hit made by Ryman staff.
Activities Coordinator Caitlin Young, who starred as both herself and as the inflatable tube man, helped with the casting and wardrobe process.
“It pushed a few of the residents out of their comfort zones and it was great watching them get into character so well, putting their own twist on things. They were amazing.
“The whole process was just so full of fun and we had lots of laughs.
“I can’t wait for everyone to see it!”